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Grand Canyon University’s innovative doctoral degree programs prepare learners for leadership roles in their professions, communities and society. Our dynamic online learning community, integrated dissertation process, wealth of resources and collaborative environment support a successful and meaningful doctoral journey. We believe earning a doctoral degree is a journey and similar to climbing a mountain—challenging, invigorating and completely rewarding when you reach the top. Our goal is to help you conquer your own mountain and succeed on your doctoral journey. Readers of The Doctoral Journey blog, presented by the College of Doctoral Studies, will find resourceful and knowledgeable posts regarding the doctoral process, research best practices and dissertation tips among other topics from GCU’s doctoral faculty.
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Using Your Doctoral Journey to Benefit Your Career

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A woman holds a glass jar filled with bills and coins with the label of "education" on it

By Dorina Miron, PhD
Doctoral Research Specialist, College of Doctoral Studies

The time and money you invest during your doctoral journey do not directly get you a more rewarding job. You will have to demonstrate doctoral-level expertise in order to advance your career to higher levels of responsibility and satisfaction.

Very briefly, as a doctor, you will be able to research a problem and develop research-based avenues to mitigate or resolve that problem. We live in a data-driven economy, where decisions are made on the basis of scientifically (i.e., systematically) collected and processed information.

Starting Your Program

In a doctoral program, you will learn how to locate, evaluate, synthesize and apply extant scientific information to tackle whatever problems you encounter in your field. This type of research process enables you to effectively and efficiently access the growing pool of valid, reliable and actionable scientific information available in your field, at any point in time.

Considering the information overload, effective and efficient information processing is a very valuable skill for decision-makers. Given the complexity of today’s organizations and social and economic environments, there are no cookie-cutter solutions that organizations can buy. Organization leaders have to create new solutions to deal with emerging problems. Consequently, organizations pay more than ever for decision “talent.”

Gaining Leadership Skills

Quite often, problems are emerging so fast that scientific research lags behind or research results are proprietary. Moreover, each organization may have peculiarities that preclude the application of extant knowledge and solutions developed for somewhat different situations or environments.

An effective leader has to be able to identify those peculiarities and determine what new research is needed to fill the gaps in extant knowledge. Leaders do not have time to collect and analyze data, so they delegate those activities. However, the leader directs and often monitors the research process, always evaluates the research products and integrates the results with extant knowledge to develop solution strategies. The creative component of competitive solutions comes from original research and information synthesis. The competitive edge is the new knowledge acquired through research.

Writing a Dissertation

When you choose the research method for your dissertation, keep in mind the type of information needed by organizations you wish to work for in the future. If you don’t know what kind of information is most valuable in your field, do a library search, then read and classify extant studies into qualitative and quantitative – that will reveal the dominant approach.

If most information needed for decision-making in the positions you target comes from individual people and reflects their personal experiences with, and understandings of, specific situations or environments, you can maximize your doctoral program benefits by choosing for your dissertation the qualitative method.

If you expect to make decisions based on numerical data, you can optimize your doctoral learning vis-à-vis your career goals by doing a quantitative dissertation.

Grand Canyon University’s College of Doctoral Studies allows learners to grow and learn in their field. To learn more about GCU’s doctoral programs, visit our website or request more information by using the button at the top of the page.